Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Butterick Retro tie-waist dress B6318

I'd had Butterick B6318 in my stash unused for a while now, I received it free with Love Sewing magazine in August last year (issue 43). Love Sewing described it as a retro day dress with stylish waist ties. I certainly thought this was a style I'd like to wear and envisaged making it for a day at the races or maybe a wedding.

I really liked the styling of the packet illustrations. Version A is shown in a vertical stripe with waist ties cut on the horizontal. Version B in a floral print with contrast ties. Although the pattern states there are two versions in reality they are the same dress with either self or contrast ties. I think you could also omit the ties to give a more streamlined shape. 

I finally found a fabric that was a good combo of everything I loved about the pattern illustrations. This stretch cotton poplin from sewmesunshine is a mix of navy and white candy stripes with a floral print of pink/blush roses and the odd splash of dark green foliage. 

I haven't sewn many of the big 4 patterns
(McCall’s, Simplicity, Vogue and Butterick) and this would be my first attempt at a Butterick pattern. 

The first thing of note on this pattern envelope is the lack of finished garment measurements. I always like to compare the body size vs garment size to get a feel for the amount of ease that has been factored into a pattern. Well, those measurements are on this pattern but hiding! You have to open out the pattern pieces and at each bust, waist and hip point you will find the finished measurements.

Then onto the instructions. Im so glad that I've tackled other garments before attempting this 'easy' Butterick pattern. In no way are the instructions wrong it's just they are so sparse. Not to mention the A3 sheet you have to first tackle in order to read them!

I made a couple of mistakes where I blindly followed the instructions and only later realised that simple things like grading or finishing seams weren't mentioned. I was really kicking myself for missing such important steps. I think I'm so used to being spoon fed step by step construction by the independents it didn't occur to me to stop and think. Luckily I was able to retrospectively fix my mistakes.

The only changes I made to the dress were in relation to the waist ties. I'd been given a few recommendations to cut an extra set of waist ties in order to give a better finish. The pattern would have you cutting just one set and hemming the edges but this results in the wrong side being visible when they're tied. I also added a couple of inches in length to the waist ties as I'd seen a few reviews where the original length gives a measly bow when tied.

When I'd finished the dress and played around with the ties I think I prefer it with a simple knot rather than a bow.

This dress called for a zip insertion which I'm still not totally adept at! This time around it was a lapped zip. Given that my attempts at invisible zips are less than invisible this style of zipper is perfect for me. Again the instructions fell short but a quick Google of lapped zip insertion and I was on my way. I think I may look out for patterns with this style of closure in future or even choose to insert one where the pattern asks for an invisble zipper as the finish is much nicer than any previous zips I've inserted.

This dress is going to be my entry to a little lawn party and I'll be stepping out in it in a few days when I'll be meeting up with some old and new sewing friends in York. I look forward to telling you all about it.


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